Food, Festival Food!
Westport foodies sing and dance their way to the history books
It may only be in its second year but already Westport Food Festival has blazed a trail for festival marketing in Ireland by conceiving and producing the first-ever music video to promote a food festival in Ireland and possibly worldwide.
Last week was the height of the tourist season in Westport but it didn’t deter local food producers, chefs, restaurateurs, hotel managers, waiting and bar staff from taking time out to warm up their vocal cords, put a spring in their step and perform in their very own music video production.
On Thursday, August 2, an eclectic bunch of foodies – including a craft butcher, cheese maker, bee-keepers, fish farmer, baker, chefs, restaurant owners, hotel managers, bar and waiting staff – gathered to record an adaptation of Food Glorious Food! (entitled Food, Festival Food!) from the musical Oliver! at a pop-up recording studio in Hotel Westport.
The next morning, the various ‘recording artists’ took to the streets of Westport in their distinctive work wear, with a film crew in tow, to shoot the video footage. They were joined by five members of Westport’s brass band, under Larry Hingerton, who provided a continuous thread throughout the video. The undertaking was all part of a marketing plan to create a viral music video starring all of the ‘stars’ of the Westport Food Festival.
Food, Festival Food! will go live next weekend on the Westport Food Festival website and via Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and selected blogs. According to the festival committee, the music video is a first for a food festival and provides the committee with the means of promoting Westport Food Festival to an international as well as national audience. The full festival programme will be launched next week.
“Westport Food Festival is a community-based initiative with various groups working together and, similarly, social media is all about bringing people together and its great power is through sharing. We wanted to create something unique – a fun, creative and enjoyable content – that people would want to pass on to their friends and family. The stars of this music video are all local food and hospitality ambassadors and there is a freshness and humour to the content that we believe reflects what is uniquely Mayo and Westport and yet promotes our serious food and hospitality credentials”, said Sinead Lambert Barroso, chairperson, Westport Food Festival.
Food, Festival Food! stars several well-known Mayo personalities including: cheese maker Andrew Pelham Burn; dips and sauces producer Redmond Cabot; fish farmer Kate O’Connor Kennedy; baker Luis Peirera; restaurateur Sinead Lambert Barroso; chefs Jose Barroso, Eoin McDonnell, Stephen Fitzmaurice and Shteryo Yurokuv; hotel managers Darren Madden and Garrett McGuinness; marketing managers Eithne Cosgrove and Shona O’Malley and members of the Westport Beekeepers Association. Six young stars from Aoife Carr’s drama school also made their acting and singing debut in the production. They are: Kitty Harburn (9); Sinead Brogan (14); Milo McManus (9); Jamie Byrne (7); Conor Clarke (11) and Claudia Lennon (11).
Filming took place at some of Westport’s best-loved locations including The Octagon, The Clock, Westport House and The Mall. Speaking at the video shoot, Eoin McDonnell, head chef, Wyatt Hotel said, “This was daunting but great fun. We knew from the word go that we had hit on a great concept and it was a true food community initiative with everyone working together to create something that will really make waves for Mayo’s food sector and for Westport itself as the location shots show Westport in a great light”.